Episode 9: Mental Wellness Vs. The C-word Freedom - fear or fun?
It's a strange thing, that what we feared losing the most, our freedom, may now be the cause of some unexpected feelings. Only a few short weeks ago, most people seemed pretty sure they couldn't wait for the day they could go anywhere, see anyone, go back to "normal".
So, now we are on the brink of facing into change again. Our freedom is going to be handed back to us, however slowly, and it's important to ensure we're mentally prepared for what's ahead.
Whilst embracing our freedom may feel like the most obvious response, it's important to remember that we are primitive survivors, first and foremost. It's part of the human condition to anticipate the worst, be fearful of what we can't control and to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
How you've been coping with this extraordinary situation is somewhat predicated on a number of factors, including, but not limited to
* your trait anxiety (how naturally anxious you are)
* your background and upbringing
* your personal circumstances
* your expectations and belief system
These same factors are likely to determine just how you feel at the thought of regaining some of those freedoms we experienced before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Now is a good time to discuss how you're feeling with those close to you.
Does the thought of your children going back to school leave you feeling relieved or anxious?
Is your joy at the thought of hugging friends somewhat tempered by fear?
Do you feel excited or overwhelmed at the thought of crowded shops, streets and parks?
We've done what we do best; we've adapted. In 7 short weeks we've created a new normal. Despite the obvious challenges and fears, for some, this has opened up new opportunities to connect, prioritise and slow down. For others, this has been a time of profound isolation, fear, frustration or anxiety. For many of us, we've flexed across a wide spectrum of thoughts, emotions and adjustments; taking on board some positives but noticing changes in mood, sleep, routine and behaviours. Maybe, just maybe this new way of living has temporarily provided an opportunity to avoid certain people, commitments or decisions...
In order to prepare, psychologically, for the next change, consider exactly how you're feeling about a less restricted existence. Stepping out of the bubble could feel exciting or potentially frightening, depending on what's waiting on the other side.
Share where your heads at, ask for any support that you need, and have a plan. If you're feeling conflicted, you are not alone.
Please reach out for a FREE consultation if I can help you work through this.